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New Ideas for Vintage Homes

BAPA Home Tour + Home Expo Give Before-and-After Insights to Gracious Living

On Sun., May 19, the old and the new come together as the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) launches the new Home Expo on the morning of the popular Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour. Together, the events offer before-and-after insights to gracious neighborhood living.

The BAPA Home Expo will take place at Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St., Chicago, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Home Tour will start at the same location, with tour check-in and ticket sales 12 to 3 p.m. Home Tour locations are open 12 to 5 p.m.

BAPA Home Expo

Designed to give property owners a range of accessible expert advice, the Home Expo invites attendees to talk to interior designers, wood restoration experts, people who offer eco-friendly services, and companies that offer roofing (including slate roofing), heating and air conditioning, plumbing, decks, landscape design, composting, paint and more.

People considering home projects are welcome to participate in the AIA Chicago Ask and Architect program that connects residential architects with homeowners looking to expand or improve their homes. Bungalows, two-flats, or new construction—architects will be standing by with free, personalized advice.  The architects will be available for short consultations on a first come/first served. Bring plans, drawings, ideas, or any other pertinent information so the architects can assist in the best possible way.

The Chicago Bungalow Association will present information on its Stop the Pop campaign that encourages bungalow owners who are planning home additions to maintain the exterior integrity of the original architectural design. This presentation, scheduled for 10:15 a.m., can benefit all property owners who are considering additions.

Oak Brothers Architectural Restoration will present information on restoring and caring for vintage windows, woodwork and architectural elements at 11 a.m. The Oak Brothers are specialists in repairing original windows, providing custom millwork and hand carving, refurbishing vintage hardware, plaster repair and more.

Representatives from the Citizens Utility Board will be available with tips on saving money on utility bills, CHI 311 will provide information on Chicago’s expanded 311 service and the new easy-to-use 311 app, and the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District will offer a variety of service information and give away 100 free tree saplings.

BAPA Home Expo admission and presentations are free. The Expo is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour

This year’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour takes a look at how savvy renovations, inspired decorating, new construction and down-to-the studs restoration add an exciting variety to traditional architectural designs in the historic Beverly/Morgan Park community.

The Home Tour begins at Bethany Union Church, 1750 W. 103rd St. The sanctuary was designed by noted architect Raymond M. Hood soon after he won the contest to design the Chicago Tribune Tower, and erected in 1926. It features carefully preserved Norman Gothic details and as well as a cloister Garth paved with Hudson River blue stone and featuring an open-air stone pulpit. Founded in 1872, Bethany Union Church will also be sharing artifacts and information about it’s long and interesting local history.

Homes being showcased on the tour are:

A stunning home built just ten years ago and designed with an English Eclectic influence that fits beautifully into the vintage character of the surrounding neighborhood. Inside the house is a spectacular combination of vintage amenities, contemporary lifestyle and carefully incorporated elements that make the house handicapped accessible to accommodate the needs of aging parents. From the basement party room with its expansive bar and sparkling disco ball to the perfect-for-entertaining open floor plan kitchen and family room to the fully furnished patio, this house was designed with welcome in mind. Experiences in this house include the Calumet Paint/Benjamin Moore Interior Paint Showcase and a beverage sampling in the back yard.

A handsome French Eclectic home designed by Murray Hetherington and built in 1935 on a secluded lot nestled at the edge of the forest preserves. The home offers a seamless meshing of original construction and renovation projects including a spacious addition with design-perfect details that incorporate original exterior brick and windows that match the unique windows in the front of the house that are protected as historic. Artwork throughout the house has been collected on family vacations and selected for its beauty, diverse media and styles, and as reminders of world travels. Experiences in this house include plein air painting by artist Judie Anderson.

A charming Mediterranean Revival with a brand new, custom-designed kitchen that combines function with contemporary beauty. This welcoming home is filled with elements including lovely casement windows and woodwork, decorating that uses a rich and warm palette of colors, and extensive collections of African American art and literature. Experiences in this house include tastings from guest chefs.

A stately North Beverly Georgian Revival with a warm and welcoming traditional appeal carried through from the original home into a stunning two-story addition. Be prepared to “ooh” and “aah” as every room features styles and decorating that make it special: the gorgeous fireplace in the sunken living room, the elegant dining room with its faux painting; the spacious master suite with walk in closet and spa bath, the comfortable family room that opens into a three-season room; even the cozy TV-room for two! Experiences at this house include beverage tastings on the deck.

A special feature of the Home Tour is the Longwood Drive historic home once owned by Paul Harris, founder of Rotary International, the global organization dedicated to taking action on some of the world’s most persistent issues. The house is currently undergoing a cellar-to-rooftop restoration by Rotary, bringing it back to what it was like when Harris lived there in the 1940s. Members of the Rotary Club will act as guides, offering insights into the home’s fascinating history and its amazing transformation back in time. Experiences include a candy tasting.

Home Tour attendees will get a chance to walk through each of these outstanding sites for an up-close look at the details of design, decorating, art collections and lifestyle that make each of them a unique example of gracious living in Beverly/Morgan Park – the Village in the City.

Many thanks to Home Tour sponsors including Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen, Beverly Bank, Calumet Paint and Wallpaper, Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Southtown Health Foods, County Fair Foods, PRS professional real estate services, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services – Biros Real Estate, Benjamin Moore Paint, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Solution 3 Graphics, Pacor Mortgage, Green Apple Cleaning, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, The Beverly Review, Smith Village, Horse Thief Hollow, Open Outcry Brewing Co., Sweet Freaks, The Blossom Boys, Steuber Florist & Greenhouse, RMH Interiors + Design, The Music Scene, Nine-One-One BBQ Shack and Chef Alvin Green.

For more than four decades, BAPA’s Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour has been opening the doors to some of the neighborhood’s most remarkable private residences. Home Tour tickets are $30 in advance and available at Steuber Florist, 2654 W. 111th St., The Blossom Boys, 1810 W. 103rd St., Sweet Freaks, 9927 S. Wood St., and County Fair, 10800 S. Western (cash or checks only) or online at www.bapa.org. The price increases to $35 on the day of the tour. Home Tour locations are open from 12 to 5 p.m. All tours are self-guided and must begin by 3 p.m.

Information about the BAPA Home Expo and or Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour contact BAPA, 773-233-3100 or bapa@bapa.org,

Irish Culture and Pride in the Neighborhood

Irish culture and pride are exhibited throughout the month of March in Beverly/Morgan Park. Here are some of the cultural activities being planned. 

South Side Irish Parade Steps Off on St. Pat’s Day 

The South Side Irish Parade will march down Western Ave. from 103rd St. to 115th St. on St. Patrick’s Day, Sun., Mar. 17 stepping off at 12 p.m. This year’s Grand Marshal is Honor Flight Chicago, an organization recognizing senior war veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War era, and flies them to Washington, D.C. to tour the memorials. The Special Honoree this year is Choose Kind, a movement dedicated to raising awareness about Apert syndrome and promoting kindness throughout the city. 

Honor Flight Chicago’s mission is to honor, thank and inspire.The nonprofit organization began flying World War II veterans to their memorial in 2008 before adding veterans of the Korean War era in 2016. This year, Honor Flight Chicago is expanding to Vietnam era veterans.  

Choose Kind helps to raise understanding and awareness about Apert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of the skull, hands and feet. Children born with the condition suffer from a range of physical and cognitive impairments and face numerous surgeries over their lifetimes.  

When Choose Kind founders Kerry and Chris Lynch learned their daughter, Mary Cate, had been born with Apert syndrome, they pledged to use her diagnosis to make a difference. To date, Mary Cate and her mom Kerry have traveled to 125 schools, teaching thousands of students about what it’s like to look different and encouraging them to Choose Kind. 

 “The entire focus of the South Side Irish Parade is on family, community and Irish heritage and we could not think of two more deserving organizations to represent this year’s parade,” said Greg Kovak, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee.  

Parade attendees will enjoy watching as military vehicles honoring veterans will come down Western, as well as the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad, whose mission is to provide military honors for veterans being interred at the cemetery in Elwood, Ill.  

More than 15 bagpipe and marching bands will be providing music, and Irish dance schools will entertain with the traditional dancing. As always, keep an eye out for the original baby buggy parade float from the first South Side Irish Parade in 1979, as well as Paddy’s Irish Whiskey Barrel Bus and numerous floats and groups from local parishes, families, and community organizations. 

 

Parade Boosts Business 

Parade Committee co-chair Jim Smith leads the safety and security efforts, including coordinating between a privately hired security firm and the Chicago Police Department to ensure the day runs smoothly. Smith said that aside from the tradition and celebration associated with the parade, local businesses also benefit as neighbors prepare for their house parties and celebrate along the Western Avenue 

Many residents plan parties, buy groceries and corned beef, beverages and decorations. Local businesses selling these wares benefit greatly from the additional sales,” Smith said. “Other parade goers spend time at local restaurants and bars, celebrating the day and bringing additional revenue opportunities to local businesses on parade day and through the parade weekend.” 

Businesses also have the opportunity to promote their companies through the parade sponsorships, including purchasing a street pole banners. Smith even hears from local realtors who say that they get many phone calls from visitors inquiring about the homes in the area. “Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood residents open up their hearts and homes, often sprucing up prior to the big day that attracts thousands of visitors to our beautiful neighborhood,” Smith said. 

“The parade is the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade outside of Ireland. The annual march down Western brings together families, friends and neighbors for a celebration of the Irish heritage and culture,” Smith said. “It’s really an important event for the neighborhood, and we want to keep it strong. We are inclusive, and we want everyone in our neighborhood — regardless of Irish heritage — to come out and enjoy it.” 

 

South Side Irish Parade Film Fest 

BACinema and the South Side Irish Parade Committee co-host the 4th Annual South Side Irish Parade Film Fest, Sat., Mar. 2, Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St. There will be two screenings. The children’s matinee features the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Song of the Sea” at 3 p.m. The movie is about young siblings who set out to free the fairies and save the spirit world. “Black 47,” a riveting revenge thriller set during one of the darkest chapters in Irish history, will be screened at 7 p.m.  

The Film Fest includes a reception with traditional Irish music with Pat Finnegan on the flute and Brendan Bulger on the fiddle, and a post movie party with dancing and music by A Week Back. Admission to the matinee is $6; admission to the evening screening and events is $18. Get details and tickets at 773-445-3838 or www.beverlyartscenter.com 

Liz Carroll Performs Early St. Patrick’s Day Concert  

Fresh off the release of their new album, “Half Day Road,” fiddler and composer Liz Carroll performs with Jake Charron in their only Chicago appearance during this year’s St. Patrick’s Day season on Sat., Mar. 9, 8 p.m., Beverly Arts Center.   

Rooted in the Irish tradition of music and recognized across America and Ireland for her talent in and influence on that genre, Carroll will play traditional and original Irish music with award-winning guitarist Jake Charron. Also performing are renowned guitarist Dáithí Sproule and the Cross Keys School of Irish Dance. 

Raised on Chicago’s South Side (Visitation parish), Liz Carroll has spent a lifetime embraced by the culture of Irish music and dance. Playing and composing since she was a little girl, Carroll astounded the music world by winning the senior All-Ireland Fiddle Championship when she was just 18 years old. Since then, she has been performing around the world.  

Recognized as one of world’s great Irish fiddlers, Carroll was honored with a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for contributions to Irish music in America (1994). In 2010 she became the first Irish-American musician nominated for a Grammy, and the following year became the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize.  

A touring and recording musician, pianist and guitarist, Charron performs and collaborates with award-winning musicians around the world. He plays and records traditional Canadian-Celtic music with The East Pointers, winners of three PEI Music Awards (2015). This past year, Jake was also nominated for a Canadian Folk Music award for his duo album with Shane Cook called “Head to Head.”  

Carroll and Charron’s first full-length collaborative album, “Half Day Road,” parallels the energy and drive the musicians’ live performances. Rooted firmly in the Irish traditional style, the music is composed and interpreted by two uniquely North American artists shaped by Irish musical tradition and how to work as contemporary artists within a traditional form. 

Dáithí Sproule is one of Irish music’s most respected guitar accompanists. His song, “The Death of Queen Jane,” was featured in the 2013 Coen brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” 

Cross Keys School of Irish Dance has been providing students with top quality instruction in competitive Irish dance for more than 30 years. Their students compete, place and win at regional, national and international competitions. 

Tickets are $25 and available at 773-445-3838 or www.beverlyartcenter.org 

 

Féile at Barney Callaghan’s Pub  

For the first time ever, Barney Callaghan’s Pub, 10618 S. Western, will host Féile (pronounced FAY-la; Irish for ‘Fest’), a two-day Irish cultural event on Sat., Mar. 9 and Sun., Mar. 10.  

Pub owners Bernard and Mary Callaghan are spearheading the event, along with Quin Cunningham, a local musician. “There’s so much to offer when it comes to Irish entertainment and culture. We will have workshops, music, Irish dancers, and an Irish language class,” said Mary Callaghan. “We hope this is a destination event that brings people from outside of Beverly to see how cool our neighborhood is and what we have to offer. There are great things happening here, and we hope the Féile contributes to that. 

Attendees have a lot of activities to choose from, and non-drinkers will find plenty to do (although there are no kid-friendly activities . . . it is a bar, after all). The parking lot adjacent to the pub will be tented, allowing patrons to spread out and enjoy the music and entertainment. Over the course of the two-day fest, listen to Kieran Byrne, CPD Pipes and Drums, Far Too Close, Dirty Wellies, Shane Farrell, Eimaer Arkins, Kevin Buckley, Larkin & Moran Bros., Chicago Reel, Larry Nugent, and Spitzer Space Telescope.  

Enjoy Irish dancing performances by Dennehy School of Irish Dance and Cross Keys School of Irish Dance. Learn something new with workshops teaching the fiddle, banjo, Celtic guitar or Celtic calligraphy. The full-immersion Irish language class, known as a Gaeltacht, is normally hosted by Barney Callaghan’s every Thurs. night, but will have a pop-up workshop at the Féile. 

Don’t forget to feast! Calabria’s food truck will be parked outside, offering Irish dishes like shepherd’s pie, corned beef sandwiches and soda bread. 

Admission is $20 on Sat. and $10 on Sun., or buy a two-day pass for $25; workshops are an additional $10 for each session 

 

95th Street Fall Fest Offers Family Fun

Pumpkin Spice and everything nice! Celebrate the new season at the 95th Street Fall Fest, Sat. Oct. 6, 12 to 3 p.m., Barraco’s Beverly parking lot, 2105 W. 95th St. From face painting for the kids to TVs tuned to college football games for the dads, it’s a guaranteed good time for the whole family. 

The event provides a platform for 95th Street businesses to promote themselves to area shoppers. Many of the stores are participating in or sponsoring the fest. 

Erin Ross, Executive Director of the 95th Street Business Association, said the fest is the perfect opportunity for residents to discover all that the 95th Street businesses have to offer. “Our businesses are excited to showcase their goods and services,” Ross said. “Residents can travel down 95th Street and explore our many shops.” The business community looks forward to welcoming area residents for an afternoon of celebration, she added. 

Don’t miss enjoying the Fall Fest pictures colored by local third grade students that will be displayed in many of the store windows. Students from Kellogg, Christ the King, St. Barnabas, Sutherland and Vanderpoel elementary schools were invited to participate in a coloring contest sponsored by the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA). Check out the art while browsing at your favorite shops.  

The Fall Fest offers a wide itinerary of activities: Live music by Bridget Cavanaugh and Garrett Degnan, arts & crafts and cookie decorating for kids, and a live animal show. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Football fanatic? Televisions inside the bar area will be tuned to live college games. 

This event is sponsored by 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, Sen. Bill Cunningham, Rep. Fran Hurley, Barraco’s, Beverly Area Planning Association, 95th Street Business Association, Christ the King Parish, 22nd District Police, Beverly Improvement Association, Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association and Smith Village. 

Registration Open for 10th Annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot

Registration is now open for the 10th annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K Run and Family Walk, presented by CIBC Bank, on Sat., Nov. 24, 9 a.m. at Christ the King School, 9240 S. Hoyne Ave. Participants will have the opportunity to run or walk the beautiful tree-lined streets of North Beverly. Proceeds from the event will once again benefit the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the 19th Ward Youth Foundation.  

Runners and walkers of all ages and levels can register now for the 5K run or walk, Team Registration or the untimed Family Walk by visiting www.the19thward.com. Those who register before Nov. 1 will be guaranteed a Beverly Hills Turkey Trot hooded sweatshirt. After Nov. 1, hooded sweatshirts will be available on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Registration and packet pick-up will also be available at CIBC Bank, 3052 West 111th St., on Nov. 16. Packet pick-up will be available at Running Excels, 10328 S Western Ave., Fri. Nov. 23. 

Registration fees are:  

5K run: adult (ages 20 and up), $35 advance, $40 race day; young adult (ages 19-14), $30 advance, $35 race day; and youth (ages 13 and under), $25 advance, $30 race day.
5K untimed walk: adult (ages 20 and up), $35 advance, $40 race day; young adult (ages 19-14), $30 advance, $35 race day; and youth (ages 13 and under), $25 advance, $30 race day.  

5K Untimed Family Fun Walk (limit 4 sweatshirts): $75 until Nov. 16, $80 starting Nov. 17. 

The 5K will be chip-timed on a CARA certified 5K course, while the family walk will be untimed. Runners will divided by age and gender according to CARA recommended guidelines, with awards given for each age group. All participants will receive a t-shirt and gift bag.  

“Over the last decade, the Beverly Hills Turkey Trot has evolved into an annual Thanksgiving weekend tradition,” said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, founder of the 19th Ward Youth Foundation. “It is a really fun and exciting day and helps to fund two great causes. I hope all our residents are able to join us this year, or cheer on the more than 2,000 people expected to participate.”   

The 19th Ward and Original Pancake House – Beverly will host a pancake breakfast immediately following the race. Admission is $5 per person or $25 per family.  

The John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, also known as Live Like John, was founded in 2012 by North Beverly residents Ed and Ann McNicholas, after their son John passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 15. The Foundation began with a sole goal: to eradicate pediatric brain tumors. Since it began, the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation has pushed for the advancements in the care and treatment of pediatric brain tumors by facilitating better coordination of information between patients and providers, improving the quality of life for patients, and funding specifically targeted pediatric brain tumor research and treatment options.  

The 19th Ward Youth Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that supports and hosts a wide variety of safe, healthy, educational activities for children in Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood. All programs are made available at little or no cost to participants and are intended to help children and teens make new friends and stay active in the 19th Ward community. Events include the Easter Egg Hunt, Children’s Film Festival, Holiday Dodge Ball Tournament, Summer Movies in the Park, Family Ice Skating Party, Pumpkin Patch, and support to countless community causes. 

For more information on the 10th annual Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K, visit www.the19thward.com or call 773- 238-0288. 

BAPA Events Build Community Spirit, Attract New Neighbors

Although area residents best know the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) for our events, they don’t always realize that events are organized for purposes that align with the organization’s mission to sustain and enhance the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.  

The Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour showcases beautiful homes to potential home buyers; the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade bring thousands of athletes and spectators to the historic district to show off the community’s rich architecture and outstanding lifestyle; and events like Family Fun Nights and the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic/Bikes and Brews Festival are designed to boost community connection.    

BAPA is involved with five upcoming events that are designed to bring customers to neighborhood commercial strips and foster shopping locally and to show off our spectacular architecture.  

Sip and Shop #2 

BAPA will be collaborating with the 19th Ward Office and Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association to present Sip n’ Shop Girls Night Out on Thurs., Sept. 20. Businesses in the train station districts at 99th and 103rd Streets will participate in the event that features special sales, beverage and food tastings, demonstrations and more from 6 to 9 p.m., and a BYOB after party from 9 to 11 p.m.  Admission of $10 in advance or $15 at the event covers the goodies and giveaways, and the first 250 people to sign up will get a free wine tote. Check in is at Calabria Imports, 1905 W. 103rd St., 6 to 8 p.m. 

Stores committed to participate include Belle Up, Beverly Barre, Beverly Yoga Center, B Sides Coffee, Cakewalk Chicago/Markland Hubbard, Capsule, Heritage Gallery & Gifts, New Beginning Alterations, Ohana Ice, RMH Design, Root, Sweet Freaks, The Blossom Boys, Turkey and Tranquility Salon. Buy tickets online at www.bapa.org 

Fall Fest on 95th Street 

On Sat., Oct. 6, BAPA will team up with the 95th Street Business Association and 19th Ward Office to host Fall Fest on 95th Street. Participants will gather in the parking lot at Barraco’s, 2105 W. 95th St., for activities and entertainment. Televisions will be tuned to college games.  

Open House Chicago 

For the first time, Beverly/Morgan Park will be featured on the Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago, Sat., Oct. 13 and Sun., Oct. 14. Several neighborhood spots will be among more than 300 locations open for this popular – and free — city-wide event. Locations, which are not widely open to the public, are chosen for their architectural importance, historic value and outstanding interest. Among the neighborhood locations where visitors will get behind-the-scenes tours are the Optimo Hat Co., Morgan Park Academy Alumni Hall, The Castle, Wild Blossom Meadery and several more. 

BAPA and the 19th Ward Office are working with Open House Chicago to make sure the neighborhood is ready to welcome 1,000 or more guests from throughout Chicagoland for the two-day event. Area residents can help out as volunteers at the neighborhood locations. For information on how to volunteer and volunteer benefits, visit openhousechicago.org/volunteer.  

Tap Into BAPA 

Tap Into BAPA, our popular pub crawl, returns to Western Avenue on Sat., Nov. 10, starting at 3 p.m. Patrons age 21 and over will receive music, food and giveaways with their ticket, and drink specials for purchase at each location. Tickets are $25 in advance at www.bapa.org or $30 on the night of the event. Join in at any location for an evening filled with community spirit.  

Holiday Cookie Crawl  

BAPA invites area families to sweeten up the spirit of the season at the 3rd Annual Holiday Cookie Crawl on Sat., Dec. 8. Just purchase a souvenir tin from BAPA, then spend the afternoon filling it with a variety of cookies and treats from participating businesses. Make sure you take time to shop where you stop, and support the businesses that support our community.  

Keep up with event details at www.bapa.org, in The Villager or with The Villager Weekly Report enews. Info: 773-233-3100 or bapa@bapa.org. Founded in 1947, BAPA is a community-based not-for-profit organization located at 1987 W. 111th St. and supported in part by donations from area residents and businesses.  

Commercial Property at 95th and Western to be Renovated

The commercial center at the southeast corner of 95th and Western Avenue will be redeveloped into a $7 million reconfiguration project starting this year. Under this plan, the now vacant building at 2347-2353 W. 95th St. will be demolished. The existing building, vacant since the departure of Potbelly Sandwich Works, will be a smaller, newly constructed commercial building that will house a mix of new and existing tenants including a dental clinic, an upscale salon, and other health related users.  

Following the demolition of the corner building, the parking lot will be reconfigured allowing for 18 additional spaces as well as a new access point from 95th Street. This construction is expected to create approximately 40 jobs.  

The development is currently leased at near capacity. Secured tenants include Addus Healthcare, Aspen Dental, AT&T and Sola Salon with two small retail spaces currently available.  A letter of intent is currently signed with a sandwich shop for one of the two available locations. 

“The modifications that will be made to the existing building on the corner of 95th and Western will help to ensure an easier access to the businesses located within the development, as well as the addition of much-needed parking spaces,” said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea. “It will also bring in well-recognized businesses that have a strong existing customer base for our residents to enjoy. My office looks forward to working with the developer and the tenants to ensure their success moving forward.”  

The project is expected to be completed in spring or sooner.  

“The 95th Street Business Association is looking forward to the implementation of the new design for the building at 95th and Western,” said Erin Ross, president, 95th Street Business Association.  “The changes will make this parcel an integral part of our business district on 95th Street.” 

“We are happy to be able to reposition the asset in a strong retail corridor with nationally recognized tenants,” said Steve Panko of Key Development Partners. “This corner will always be desirable.” 

For leasing information, contact Pam Miszkowicz or Lynn Bracket, CBRE, 630-573-7000. For more information on 95th Street development, contact the 19th Ward office, www.the19thward.com or 773.238.8766. 

O’Shea Named President of Special Olympics Chicago

Matt O’Shea has been named president of SCC/Special Olympics Chicago (SOC). O’Shea has served on the Board of Directors of SCC/Special Olympics Chicago since 2015. 

As president, which is a volunteer position, O’Shea will be responsible for overseeing the operations, fundraising efforts and corporate sponsorships to support Special Olympics Chicago programs and events. He will also be responsible for continuing to increase the awareness of the organization to the public, as well as assisting in recruiting new athletes and growing the program in the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District.  

O’Shea is the Alderman of the 19th Ward which is home to hundreds of athletes with disabilities who attend the Mt. Greenwood Park Special Recreation program and the Chicago Agricultural High School for the Sciences. O’Shea has been one of the top fundraisers for the Chicago Polar Plunge, the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, diving into the icy waters of Lake Michigan each March since the event began in 2000. He is also an avid runner, participating on the Special Olympics Chicago Marathon team for several years and in the Midway Fly Away 5K each September since it began five years ago.  

“I am truly honored to be appointed as president of this incredible organization that changes the lives of thousands of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, each and every day,” said O’Shea. “Special Olympics has been incredibly important to myself and my community over the last several decades. I have seen first-hand how the organization strives to provide memorable experiences for our athletes. As president, I will continue the work of my predecessors and will focus on doing what is in the best interest of our athletes.”  

More than 7,500 athletes are involved in the Special Olympics Chicago program. 

Special Olympics was founded in Chicago at Soldier Field on July 20, 1968, and has since become a world-wide organization with nearly five million athletes in over 170 countries. Last month, Chicago became the epicenter of a nearly week-long celebration in honor of the organization’s 50th Anniversary. Activities included the first-ever unified cup tournament, a star-studded concert featuring Chance The Rapper, a Global Day of Inclusion, and the dedication of a Special Olympics Eternal Flame of Hope at Soldier Field.
A lifelong 19th Ward resident, O’Shea lives in West Beverly with his wife Cara, and his children, Brigid, Patrick and Eileen.  

 

Midnight Circus in the Parks Coming in September

Midnight Circus in the Parks is coming to Ridge Park for four shows on Sept. 29 and 30. The event features a thrilling high-flying assortment of acrobats, aerialists, clowns, contortionists and even a dog. Ridge Park, located at 96th and Longwood Drive, is one of nine Chicago Park District Parks that will showcase the Midnight Circus under a little big top tent this summer and fall.  

Mary-Jo Viero, President of the Ridge Park Advisory Council (RPAC), said the circus’s presence is a huge win for the neighborhood and credits Ald. Matt O’Shea with bringing it to Ridge Park. Midnight Circus in the Parks performed at Mt. Greenwood Park in 2011.  

Proceeds from the local shows will be used for improvements at Ridge Park. Earlier this year, the house received a new roof and new windows are slated for later this year.  

Volunteers with RPAC are working to promote the shows and sell ads in the program book, which will be distributed at all 28 performances across the city, allowing advertisers to reach a wide audience. The deadline to submit ads is Aug. 25. For information, contact Viero, mjviero@yahoo.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. 

Midnight Circus in the Parks is an eclectic ensemble of artists that brings world class contemporary circus performances to communities throughout Chicago. Since 2007, the shows have drawn over 100,000 attendees and raised over $1 million for local park improvements.  

Midnight Circus will perform two shows each day Ridge Park, 2 and 5 p.m. General admission, $22; groups, $20; and children under age two, free. Tickets and information: midnightcircus.net.

Taxpayer Advocates Help Homeowners Save on Property Taxes

As the City of Chicago is rolling out its triennial reassessment this year, local property tax appeal firm Taxpayer Advocate Group (“TAG”), is celebrating its 10 year anniversary of helping Cook County homeowners pay the lowest possible tax bill.   

Born out of the financial crisis, TAG was founded at a quaint Irish pub by mortgage bankers Jason Terrell, TAG’s president and Certified Illinois Assessing Officer, and his West Point grad co-founder. As self-funded entrepreneurs, “It’s been fun to experience our progression,” Terrell said. “When we started the company we were using static files and excel spreadsheets; now it’s all cloud computing technology allowing us to identify saving opportunities instantaneously.”  

Xpress Tax Appeals is innovative software that TAG developed to challenge the County’s assessment of a residential property and to streamline the Cook County tax appeal process. Terrell explained that the County taxes your property by first assessing its value.  That base value, along with the state equalizer and tax rate, is used to calculate property taxes.  Due to the large volume of real estate parcels in Cook County, the Assessor’s Office calculates a property’s assessed value by using a mass appraisal method.   

“This model often allows for unequal treatment of property.” Terrell said. “TAG appeals your taxes by identifying the County’s inequitable assessment of your property and then by filing a property tax appeal.  By filing an appeal, a homeowner is requesting a more just and fair assessed value. Lowering the assessed value means homeowners will effectively save on their property taxes.” 

On July 27, Beverly/Morgan Park residents and other Lake Township homeowners are expected to receive their reassessment notices. 

“Unfortunately, if these reassessments are like the 2018 North Side reassessments that have already been sent to property owners in Lakeview and Rogers Park, you can expect to see a large hike in your assessment. Some properties have seen increases up to 40%,” Terrell said.  July 27 marks the beginning of a 30-day window in which residents of Lake Township will be able to file an appeal. 

The strongest argument a homeowner can make in the appeal process is “lack of uniformity” – an argument that the property is being over-assessed as compared to properties with similar characteristics (i.e. neighborhood, construction type, age, etc.).   

Although it’s most advantageous to appeal in the reassessment year, homeowners have the right to appeal their property taxes every year, as newly sold comparable properties or other changes in a neighborhood could provide another opportunity for a successful reduction.    

The tax appeal process is complex and fraught with paperwork and deadlines. TAG is committed to giving homeowners peace of mind by meeting the challenges posed by the County and by ensuring that assessed values remain as low as possible.  In addition, there are no upfront fees for the service and there is no charge if the appeal is unsuccessful. 

TAG is no stranger to the Beverly/Morgan Park area. Operations manager Justin Sipich grew up playing baseball at Kennedy Park and lived on 107th Street where his family still resides. Sipich, along with TAG property tax analyst, Alex Coston, graduated from Morgan Park Academy. Because of their affinity for the community and its residents, TAG is a BAPA business member and a sponsor of BAPA’s 16th annual Bikes & Brews Cycling Classic on July 20.   

TAG looks forward to helping community residents achieve the lowest possible property tax.  Visit www.XpressTaxAppeals.com/BAPA by Aug. 31, 2018 for a 20% discount on their services. 

Special Recreation in Mount Greenwood Gives Back

By Kristin Boza

With the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics is this July, the participants in the Special Recreation program at Mount Greenwood Park are gearing up for the competition while maintaining their mission of giving back to the community. 

The program serves children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the Chicagoland area, and currently has 115 participants ranging in age from 7 to 65, according to Special Recreation Coordinator Lisa Mulcrone. Mulcrone has been a part of the program in some capacity for the last 27 years, beginning as a volunteer when her sister, Sioban, was enrolled in the Special Recreation program. 

While the program accepts community volunteers to help out, the participants in the Special Recreation program have become great partners to other community groups as well. 

“We have volunteered by baking cookies at the Oak Lawn Ronald McDonald House, we assist BAPA with the Ridge Run and Home Tour, and we volunteer with Special Children’s charities in various jobs, such as assisting with 5K runs, the annual Duck Derby fundraiser, and the Polar Plunge, to name a few,” Mulcrone said.  

The Special Recreation group has been essential in helping BAPA with the Ridge Run by stuffing goody bags, handing out fliers along the race route, and passing out refreshments and finishing medals to the Ridge Run runners. 

Mulcrone and the team is especially looking forward to participating in the Special Olympics July 17 through 21 at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Ill. Athletes will compete in power lifting, track and field, gymnastics, swimming and bocce, according to Mulcrone.  

“We are extremely excited about being a part of the 50th Anniversary of the Special Olympics. We will be attending as a group, hoping to make it to the majority of activities that Special Olympics has planned,” Mulcrone said. “We compete year-round in 14 different Special Olympic sports.” 

To get involved as a volunteer with the Special Recreation program in Mount Greenwood, contact Lisa Mulcrone, lisa.mulcrone@chicagoparkdistrict.com. To volunteer at a Special Olympics event, contact Eileen Guinane, eileen.guinane@chicagoparkdistrict.com.